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March 25, 2013

Electric Tricycle

So I built another electric vehicle.  This time around, I actually did some designing before I got any parts, so this was less of a "what do I do with this cool part" project than most of the things I build are.  However, the actual construction of the vehicle was started due to the acquisition of a cool part:  the "melon" sized brushless motor that drives the tricycle.  Getting the motor was a great excuse to implement a bunch of ideas for an electric vehicle I developed after building my electric scooter.

This was my first big project done with access to real machine tools (courtesy of MITERS), so this was both my learn how to machine things and learn how to Solidworks project.  Even with just a semester working with these tools, I was able to make this vehicle significantly more refined (while simultaneously even more ridiculous) than my scooter.

The design for the vehicle was inspired by the classic Radio Flyer tricycle.  That vehicle geometry is not exactly intended for the high speed go-kart like performance I wanted, so I tried to optimize the design while retaining the tiny kids-trike aesthetic.  

And now, a brief overview of the tricycle's specifications:

Motor: Turnigy C80100-130 brushless RC outrunner
Controller: Kelly KBS48121 120A peak BLDC controller
Batteries: 39.6V 7.5 Ah A123 Systems Lithium Nanophosphate pack
Drivetrain: Manual 8-Speed Shimano internal gear hub, custom spur gear differential
Chassis: Welded steel tubing and aluminum plate construction with side-to-side leaning
Top Speed: 45+ mph, if you're feeling brave

More pictures, videos, and build log can be found after the break.